Has your rent been raised? Find out more about your rights

Hardware maintenance by an external provider

You have no inhouse IT resources and want to outsource hardware and software maintenance to an external IT service provider?

The answer in detail

Hardware maintenance by an external provider

You are already at full capacity with your work and would like to outsource hardware maintenance to an external IT service provider? If so, you should take the following points into account.

For services you want to outsource, it makes sense to conclude an agreement. As a rule, IT service providers use standard agreements for this and these are not always customer friendly. The law, too, is not very customer friendly in this regard. It provides no special rules for repairs and maintenance of hardware and software. That’s why you, as the customer, must read the agreement carefully and compare offers before putting your signature to it. Most providers are willing to make changes to their agreements if they are justified. So go ahead and request individual amendments.

But what exactly do such maintenance and support agreements include?

Maintenance and support agreements govern upkeep, troubleshooting, improvements, and updates of hardware and software. The term maintenance is used for hardware and software.

Maintenance and support agreements often include the following services offered by the provider:

  • Rectification of faults and errors
  • Preventative maintenance (including the application of software patches and updates) before the occurrence of major disruptions to ensure software and hardware remain in a usable state
  • Adaptations to new requirements or changed system environments (especially new hardware or software)
  • Further development of software
  • Support for questions regarding hardware and software use
  • Service desk (hotline) to take disruption and support inquiries of the customer by phone, email, text message, or ticket system
  • Onsite or remote rectification of problems on notification of the customer
  • Provision of a replacement device if hardware has to be repaired

For you as the customer, it is important when and how fast the problem can be rectified. To that end, the agreement should include exact rules:

  • Service time (standby time): The time in which the service provider can be reached by phone, email, text message, or special ticket system to take fault reports or support inquiries.
  • Response time: The time in which the service provider starts rectifying the problem or providing support after receipt of the notification/inquiry;
  • Troubleshooting time: The time frame in which the problem must be rectified.

Our checklist for concluding a maintenance and support agreement for hardware and software will show you what the agreement should include and what wording you should look out for.

Important documents
Checkliste Softwarewartungsvertrag